Writing Workshops for Primary Schools

Write Away With Me offers a variety of creative and original literacy workshops to challenge students and develop their creativity, thinking and writing skills while they give their imagination a real work out!

About Our Workshops:

Open ended writing workshops fully engage children in the writing process and cater for the wide range of writing skills and abilities found within any classroom.

Workshops vary in length from 75 mins to 90 min sessions. This allows ample time to develop stories (often through storytelling and small group work), write freely and workshop ideas. Some programs (such as The Writer’s Notebook and Short Stories 101) are full day programs which can be offered to class groups or groups of selected children.

It is envisioned that this workshop will be the springboard for a series of writing workshops to be followed up by the classroom teacher. Teaching notes and follow up activities are provided for all workshops.

General objectives/focus areas are listed below the workshop outlines to help you decide which one best matches the skills you would like to develop and the learning outcomes you would like your students to achieve. Some workshops span over two levels – it’s possible to add layers of extension to the workshop content to cater for a variety of ages and stages.

Classroom teachers are actively encouraged to be part of the workshops. It’s a great opportunity for teachers to observe the writing process in action and be exposed to different teaching styles and writing activities. In this way, the workshop becomes an effective and ‘hands on’ PD session.

When you book a workshop, you will receive:

  • A letter for parents outlining the educational value of the workshop and the desired learning outcomes.
  • Detailed workshop outline, listing learning goals and objectives for teachers.
  • Guidelines for preparing your class for the writing workshop.
  • Teaching Notes specific to your workshop (Downloadable PDF document)

Codes:

P: Prep Level
J: Junior School – Years 1 – 2
M: Middle School – Years 3 – 4
S: Senior School – Years 5 – 6

Choose Your Writing Workshop

Workshop 1: Animal Animals Everywhere

P

Froggie is off on an exciting adventure and through the magic of storytelling and puppetry, your students will join him as he searches for a new home and meets a host of interesting characters along the way. There’s wise owl, a fat wombat and a very busy bee, just to name a few. Inspired by Froggie’s journey, students will create their own animal characters. It seems simple enough…until our puppets come to life and find their voices. Get ready to create a little storytelling magic! ( A Materials Levy applies to this workshop)

Narratives – Focus on storytelling and oral language development, as well as developing a character and structuring a simple narrative plot.

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Workshop 2: Muck and Magic

P, J

This writing workshop combines fairy tale themes and improvised storytelling with creative writing. Students will explore the elements of fairy tales and narratives, as they follow the prompts to create an improvised class story. Settings, good and bad characters, plots, problems and magical items will all be randomly selected from the Storytelling Lucky Dip and used to create a seamless (and often hilarious) tale. Then, students get the chance to create their own fairytale by selecting random elements and finding interesting connections. Who will be the characters in your story and where will it take place? Students will build a story map from their selections and through oral storytelling and creative writing, they will bring their story to life.

Fairy Tales – Focus on generating original ideas and introducing the essential elements of narratives – setting/character/plot

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Workshop 3: Pleased To Meet You

P, J

In this workshop, students catapult straight into the world of paper sculpture and create a 3D character to star in a piece of writing. But in order for these characters to come to life in the world of fiction, young writers will need to get to know them a little better. What’s the character’s name? What do they like to eat and drink? What frightens them? What makes them happy? These details and more will be captured on our Character Maps. Then using a simple storytelling structure, students will develop their narrative plan. (A Materials Levy applies to this workshop as we are creating 3D paper sculptures)

Developing original character profiles, creativity, higher order thinking/problem solving skills

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Workshop 4: Tell Me A Story

J

Since the dawn of time, humans have told stories to each other – powerful stories about their life experiences and funny stories to entertain their friends and family. And now your students will have the opportunity to develop the ancient art of storytelling. Believe me – this is one time when being talkative and ‘dramatic’ will certainly come in handy! This workshop combines writing and performing arts to engage children in the art of story creation. We’ll listen to two stories – ‘The King’s Cookie’ and ‘The Autumn Leaf Man’ and use these as springboards for developing original and interesting innovations. (Students can work either individually or in pairs and small groups). Because these stories have similar patterns and make use of repetition and rhyme, the student’s innovations will lend themselves easily to class performances and oral readings. Drama/writing/oral storytelling – focus on creating original stories using a developed structure.

Developing narratives using a set structure, focus on oral storytelling

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Workshop 5: The Ideas Factory

J

Your imagination is very important when it comes to creating stories and its going to get a real workout in this writing workshop. These writing activities combine drawing and writing to kickstart your student’s creativity and help generate original story ideas. Students will create story maps, develop characters and learn the art of writing exciting story hooks to engage an audience. Along the way, they will be introduced to The Story Mountain and consider aspects of narratives such as rising and falling action as well as setting, character and plot development.

Narratives and the Writing Process – focus on story creation, generating original ideas and the elements of a short story

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Workshop 6: In The Bag

J, M

What would happen if you found a bag full of interesting objects and treasures? What clues might these things give you about the person who owns this bag? Do you like solving mysteries? A good writer needs to also be a good detective so you’ll get to work and help find this missing person. Along the way, you’ll create characters, describe settings, plot an exciting story and start making your very own book. Everything you need is in the bag!

Mystery – Essential elements of narrative writing – Focus on developing characters/plots through story mapping

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Workshop 7: Out of This World

J, M

When he was a young boy, C.S Lewis created Animal-Land – a strange world of walking and talking animals. The hours he spent writing and illustrating stories about his world, were the groundwork for the Narnia series. Now it’s your turn to attempt the ultimate writing challenge and invent your own fictional world. The Volcano Vortex. The Whispering Forest. The Crumbling Cliffs… Who knows where your imagination will take you? And remember, every land (even fictional ones) deserve a Traveller’s Guide. So you’ll design that too! Who lives in your land? What language do they speak? You’re definitely in control now! If your student’s love drawing, writing and thinking in all sorts of creative and imaginative ways – this workshop is their ticket to travel into the world of fiction!

Fantasy – focus on developing a detailed setting as a springboard for story creation

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Workshop 8: Choose Your Own Adventure

J, M

Choose your Own Adventure is a creative writing workshop that puts the writer straight into the heart of story. The Land of Imagination is under attack and the decisions these young writers make, and the options they choose, will determine exactly how their particular adventure story unfolds. Your students will need to generate a host of creative ideas, as well as apply logic and higher order thinking skills to weave their way through the writing process and solve the problems that land before them. Both sides of the brain will get a workout here! Activities are designed to extend childrenʼs creative writing and thinking skills, as well as inspire a love of language and storytelling.

Adventure/Fantasy/ Hero’s Journey – Focus on plotting/planning an adventure style story, developing main characters and creating interesting plots.

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Workshop 9: Creativity Bootcamp

S

Designed to be fast paced and great fun, this workshop is a collection of writing activities designed to inspire, excite and encourage the creative writer in your students! Over the course of the workshop, they will experiment with a variety of genres from personal narrative to poetry, as well as explore characters and settings. Along the way, we’ll consider some of the behaviours and attitudes that are essential for good writers such as learning to pay attention to small details and bringing your five senses to the writing process. Students will come away with many pieces of writing to develop.

Focus – to stimulate the imagination/creativity of young writers and allow them to explore a variety of genres.

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M, S

Workshop 10: Me Myself and I – The Art Of Writing Personal Narratives

This workshop combines the art of writing personal narratives with the magic of storytelling. We’ll kick off with a popular first person narrative – The Chocolate Cake. This will introduce us to the elements of a personal narrative. How does it differ from simply recounting events in a logical order? We’ll share snippets of stories and literary examples on how personal narratives can come to life. Writing activities will help students brainstorm ideas and create a story map for their first person narrative. We’ll also consider the role of descriptive language in bringing our stories to life and focus on writing techniques such as writing effective story hooks and using engaging language.

Personal Narratives Focus on storytelling and narrative elements such as setting/ plot/ opening and endings.

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Workshop 11: The Writer’s Notebook (Full Day Program)

S

Do you sometimes jot down ideas or start a story, only to lose your piece of paper? Then a ‘Writer’s Notebook’ is definitely for you! It’s the perfect place to capture (and organise) your ideas, pictures, observations and so much more! First we’ll launch into a series of free writing activities designed to jumpstart your imagination and reveal your natural writing voice. Then we’ll create categories such as Story Seed Ideas, Personal Experiences, Fiction, Lists and more. Along the way, we’ll discover some tricks of the trade and hear what some of your favourite authors have to say about keeping a ‘Writers Notebook’. Believe me, your Writer’s Notebook will soon become your most valuable writing resource ever!

(Material Levy for this workshop)
Developing a writing resource/exploring strategies to assist young writers

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Workshop 12: Short Stories 101 (Full Day Program)

S

This workshop focuses on combining the essential elements of a narrative writing; style, setting, character, complications and resolutions and there is no better way to see how the elements of a story come together than to be fully immersed in the process. Firstly we’ll unravel a selection of stories to discover the elements of narratives and how these work together to tell a story. Then we’ll examine each element carefully from setting to characters and plot – they will all get a mention. Ideas will be collected on story and mind maps and we’ll collect language and phrases as we go. Then finally we’ll have the chance to bring all our knowledge together and create an original story. This workshop includes an hour long writing block and an opportunity to share writing with peers and parents alike.

Writing narratives

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